December 15, 2015

How I Got To Nuremberg: Catching a Train, SoulCycling, and Transparency

Nuremberg Lebkuchen. Copyright: Stanislava Dimitrova

Sleek Magazine sent me to Nuremberg to cover an exhibition titled Transparenzentaking place in both Kunstverein Nuremberg and Kunstverein Bielefeld. Nuremberg is in Bayern and it was a 5 hour train ride from Berlin. I’m always excited when I have the possibility to get to know Germany a little better. So I packed enough food for five hours (my greatest fear is to be without food on a train), and I took my Kindl because a train ride is the ultimate occasion to read. I didn’t get any reading done though. The company I travelled with, was too entertaining. Gudrun Landl joined from press office N, and art critic Thomas Bettrigde went together with girlfriend Zuma and her cousin Alex. The trip started with us running on the platform to get to our train cabin and, not succeeding to do so, we had to run in two étappes. It was all very exciting and we felt very much alive, blood streaming through our veins. This is the way every visit to an art exhibition should start - you have to feel alive and not half dead. The fun had only started. Zuma had been so genius to bring a bottle with bubbles and then, when our tongues loosened, we started talking about anything but art. This is, by the way, also how a visit to an art exhibition should start - free your mind by talking about the opposite of art, which is surface culture so the art will hit you even more. That’s how we talked about how the fashion brand Urban Outfitters is for old people and how Oprah bought 10 percent of Weight Watchers so it could be saved from bankruptcy. We talked also about the benefits of a membership at Soho House, and discovered there aren’t any really (we had some insider news about this). And then there is this new phenomenon trending in the USA, called SoulCycle, one that makes you drench in sweat and it’s basically indoor cycling in steamy rooms. Zuma told me she’s critical how very white SoulCycle in New York City is (only it’s cleaning personnel being black) but Thomas is a huge fan and he can't wait to go again when he's back in NY for Christmas. We ended up talking about Real Housewives and I discovered that Baraba Krüger watches it as a kind of research for her artistic work. 

Soulcycle

Five hours train ride went by like nothing, and I ended up making a deal with Thomas that I would quote his part on the Bielefeld exhibition for Frieze Magazine, since I would never be able to see it. This is how things were looking bright when we arrived in Nuremberg, inside the train at least, because outside it was raining like hell. We all had hoped to visit the Christmas market of Nuremberg, but then discovered upon arrival that it would only start a few days later. This left us with the other touristy attraction, the Nazi rally grounds, and none of us were up to that. That left us with food tourism - and we got excited about the prospect of eating the legendary Nuremberg Würstchen. We were also considering buying Nuremberger Lebkuchen (ginger bread) to bring back to Berlin. Na, we realised then, nobody in Berlin will believe that those 3 cookies cost 10 Euros, whereas you can buy them in Lidl for 2 Euros. In the evening we were at the opening of the Nuremberg Kunstverein and you can read about it in detail  in Sleek Magazine Online. Quoting my colleague Thomas turns out to be a little difficult because his review is in print in Frieze Magazine but why don’t you go buy it, huh. After the opening the Nuremberg people brought us to a bar that looked like a Berlin bar, with sofa’s, second hand chairs, looking a bit trashy, with a party going on in the basement. We, the Berlin people, were of course disappointed, and we left the Nuremberg people behind to go to a typical traditional Nuremberg restaurant nearby to eat those long awaited Würstchen. Ah good times... And why am I revealing all these things, that have nothing whatsoever to do with the art that I saw in Nuremberg? For the sake of transparency, my dear reader, for the sake of not holding back anything to you. We art critics call it "Radical Vulnerability". 

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